August 17, 2019 

From the Sixteen to One Archives


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 By Michael Miller

01/11/2006  6:35PM


Oil hunters from little wildcatting operations to international corporations have probed the earth. Writers proclaim, “No other phenomenon has changed the lives of Americans more than the “black bonanza”…oil. From its first use as a cure-all medicine to the more than 4,000 products in which it is now used, oil has become increasingly important to our everyday existence.”
No machine Age miracle has changed the lives of Americans more than the Black Bonanza, which dates from 1855, a year in which a quarter of a million eager prospectors were frantically overturning the Sierra Nevada foothills for their share of California’s fabulous Gold Bonanza, which then seemed far more fabulous than petroleum. While Yankees sweated and fought for the precious yellow metal, two Mexican prospectors, General Andreas Pico and his nephew Romulo, were digging pits unnoticed in a canyon north of San Fernando Mission in Southern California. From these pits the Picos scooped up a black, sticky tar which they sold at the mission for healing and illuminating uses. The Picos were completely unaware that they were pioneering an industry destined to change the tempo, the living, the shape, and the size of the world.
One exceptional Forty-niner who may have sensed the importance of the Picos’ oil strike was a New York sperm-oil dealer, George S. Gilbert. While others scrambled for gold, Gilbert was busily devising a crude refinery near Ventura Mission to boil off the vapors of black petroleum from pits in Sulphur Mountain, at the lower end of the same valley in which the Picos mined tar. Gilbert sold the heavy residue of his still as grease for squeaky ox-cart axels, and in 1857 he consigned a hundred kegs of his rock oil to A. C. Ferris of Brooklyn, New York. Unfortunately transporting the keg of oil across the Isthmus of Panama by mule-back power proved so difficult that the muleteers dumped the consignment in the jungle.
Had Gilbert’s oil reached the New York market on schedule, the monument marking the birthplace of the oil industry might well have been on San Antonio Creek in Southern California instead of at Titusville on Oil Creek in Pennsylvania, where Uncle Billy Smith, the blacksmith punched a hole in the earth that was to be this country’s first oil well. That year, 1857, oil was first found at Ploesti, Rumania. At Pittsburgh Sam Kier, the druggist was bottling crude petroleum as “rock oil, celebrated for its wonderful curative powers.” Then came the eventful year of 1859, when the Drake well touched off the Pennsylvania oil stampede, a scramble as wild as was the California Gold Rush.
The men who pioneered the petroleum industry, both in California and in Pennsylvania, wanted crude oil for purposes that seem ridiculous today. “Colonel” Edwin L. Drake and his backers and their oil-mad rivals thought of a barrel of crude oil only as rock oil which could be used “both internally and externally” and for a cheaper source of so-called “coal oil.” At the time illuminating oil was extracted either from whales or from coal, both expensive processes. General Pico likewise was motivated by the belief that “fossil oil” would cure man’s aches and light his nights. Gilbert hit on the bigger idea of lubricants; to get them, he had to boil off the volatile gases, thus percolating into the thin air the most efficient package of power that man would find until the Atomic Age dawned a century later.
The Black Bonanza was overshadowed by the more spectacular California Gold Rush. Men wanted gold because it was the token of wealth. In time the gold they wrested from California’s hills and rivers, roughly 3 billion dollars’ worth, found its way back underground in vaults at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Denver, Colorado. The oil from beneath California’s soils exceeded even the wildest predictions of Professor Benjamin Silliman, Jr., of Yale that it would aggregate “more than all the whales in the Pacific Ocean” could yield.
None of the pioneers of the original Black Bonanza, nor their contemporaries who punched holes for oil in Ohio, West Virginia, New York, and neighboring states, had the slightest notion of what was in a barrel of oil. No early prospector or producer dreamed that each barrel of petroleum flowing out of the earth contained the makings of over four thousand potential products which, within the next century, would change the living of civilized peoples.
Imagine a world without oil.
Nine decades after discovery Reese H. Taylor, president of Union Oil Company, said, “We have just started to unlock the secrets in a barrel of oil.”
Oilmen know that oil is the lifeblood of modern civilization. Their important task is to make that lifeblood even more valuable. To do so under the American system industrialist must compete successfully in the fields simultaneously, for capital for people and for markets. To fail in any one of these fields inhibits success in the other two. This seems like a simple and worthwhile formula, but human nature being as unfathomable as a barrel of oil, or a pocket of gold, calls for some lost or forgotten wildcatting to enable all to realize the prospects unlimited.

Wildcatting for a pocket of gold is a theme and dream worth realizing.
 By mdvaden

11/27/2005  9:32PM

I stumbled upon this forum while searching for info on the Blue Ledge Mine. Apparently it's drain water has affected Joe Creek. There were internet documents pertaining to research at the university in Ashland, Oregon and a geological society meeting in Denver in 2004 about that issue.

My profession involves trees, so forests are an interest. The mine and and acid produced by some is information I'm including on a forestry article on my arborist / landscape web site.

My father is also active with mines from a production / profit standpoint. So he has shared a few things about mines that caught my interest too. Not environmental things - just the methods, tools and means.

On this forum, this thread triggered a seach with this text posted 8-24-2005

"...Development at Alleghany. [Colorado Capital plans big operations.] June 13, 1909- L.A. Times..."

"...In other mother lode counties mines are in full blast.
Southern Californians in the Blue Ledge copper district, Siskiyou County, are opening excellent properties, and recent developments indicate that as soon as the copper market sufficiently improves, the Blue Ledge will rank next to the Shasta belt. At the Blue Ledge mine, large reserves of excellent grade copper have been developed with a smelter installed; the company would be in a position to produce on a large scale. The St, Albans, Bloomfield, Joe Creek, Medford, Copper King and numerous others are also showing well. Several eastern, British and Spokane people are interested. The chief drawback of the district is the lack of adequate transportation facilities..."

I took a hike up there last week. Facinating scenery.

It crossed my mine that there may still be copper reserves in the ground. But that mine may be a touchy one to open for two reasons.

1. It's already affecting a Joe Creek that leads into tributaries of the largest lake of Rogue River National Forest. The toxic pH is limited, but it's obvious even by looking.

2. The Applegate valley apparently has a fanatical group that opposes things - even like a big church springing up in the valley, let alone mining the ground where tailings produce sulfuric acid.

I started a page at my site to tie-in to forest and forestry.

By the way, I'm an arborist, but I'm not a tree hugger. I'm middle ground.

That page is at:

It's on
So much mining has occured here near Jacksonville and Ruch, Oregon, that I may just try my hand at it sometime.

I suppose my dad can help me figure out how to go about it right.

Thanks for letting me join the forum. Hope I have time to get back on.
 By Michael Miller

11/01/2005  11:42AM


Six western governors will participate in the Western Governors Mineral Policies Conference in Sacramento, November 7 and 8 (1955). They include Goodwin J. Knight of California, Charles Russell of Nevada, J. Bracken Lee of Utah, Robert E. Smylie of Idaho, Milward Simpson of Wyoming and Stephen L.R. McNichols of Colorado. Approximately 500 are expected to attend the invitational conference. Governor Knight will give the keynote address. Senator Thomas Kuchel will speak on “Building a Permanent Domestic Mining Industry” and Governor Smylie will speak on “The Nation’s Need For a Strong Mineral Industry”.

In issuing the call for the conference in Sacramento, Governor Knight said:
“The permanent welfare of the mining and mineral-consuming industries in the Western states is strategically important to national defense and vital to the economy of the United States of America.”

This conference was reported in The Mountain Messenger fifty years ago. The need to address Senator Kuchel’s and the Governors’ topics is more important today than much of what both business, government and media people are giving us. The base of our quality of life includes industrial economics. Its basis can be found in mineral extraction, commonly called “mining”. Gold mining, exploitation and America are good words, ideas or concepts. Fifty years ago 500 people gathered in Sacramento to lead the nation in understanding the importance of the welfare of the mining and mineral consuming industries. Would such a conference draw 500 participants today? Likely, no. Help!

News Flash:
We just received word that Barrick made an unsolicited offer to buy Placer Dome for $9,200,000,000. Read past entries.

10/05/2005  3:54PM

Nov. 25, 1994

Los Angeles and San Francisco calif.- Butterfield & Butterfield will auction native gold from the pioneering Original Sixteen to One Mine, the oldest, continuously operated mine in the West. The phenomenal event, a first for any auction house, will take place on Dec. 15 at Butterfield & Butterfield’s galleries. Expected to draw capacity crowds, it is a historic opportunity to reflect on the timeless and universal luster of gold.
The Original Sixteen to One Mine is situated in the mountain town of Alleghany, on the western flank of the Sierra Nevada Mountains; the area itself, first discovered in 1851, has been and is, the site of some of the richest concentrations of gold in the world, and helped propel the rush for gold. The Original Sixteen to One is one of the most dynamic, and with its tradition of innovative mining techniques, one of the most successful mines ever, continuing a rich history of discovering pods of gold with astonishing yields.
The auction’s paramount feature is ‘The Whopper’. It is the single most spectacular specimen to come out of the mine in modern history, with 141 oz. Of gold content and weighing at a (whopping) 17lbs. It was discovered in the late summer of 1993, a stunning preface to the mine’s $1 million gold find of Dec. 17. Another undisputed auction highlight is a gold quartz specimen, carved into a one of a kind sphere by a renowned lapidary.
The Original Sixteen to One Mine, as well as others, acquired new fame at the turn of the century, when it was determined that quartz veins of gold were coveted not only for their intrinsic value as precious metals but for jewelry as well. (In New York for example, Tiffany Co. fashioned exotic pieces from the polished slabs of ore.)
The auction features not only examples of gold-in-quartz jewelry; in a rich variety of forms, the array of other gold specimens and slabs from the legendary Original Sixteen to One Mine to be offered includes gold crystals, chunks of rough native crystalline gold, ball mill forms, leaf gold and gold-in-quartz.
 By gfxgold

08/24/2005  11:46PM

Don't you just love armchair quarterbacks?
Well, the oil business is a little like gold mining. If a couple of roughnecks decide to strike out on their own with a Duece and a Half Cornbinder, a derrick and all the macaroni they can carry (plus a whole lot more), somebody is sure to back them with a little cash. Whether they get the nod to drill from a doodle-bugger or a rock-hound and the hole turns out to be a duster and the next one is a blowout is of no concern because, they're drilling in a proven area and the guy next door just hit a gusher... there are always more investors. If you do hit it, you can cap the well and move to the next one.
However, with mining, You drill and blast a lot bigger hole. The gold does not come to you. You must go down to the gold and carry it to the surface. Now you are producing a spiderweb of tunnels and carrying gold to the surface from a much greater distance. As with oil, it is better to have several wells to bring the oil to the surface. the same is true in mining. Hence, The Red Star Shaft. This would provide an opportunity to expand on an existing spiderweb and to create a safer environment for the miners by increasing airflow and providing a safe alternate exit. Also, it would cut costs by reducing the distance to daylight the gold.
However, as you expand a mining operation, you must become a professional plate spinner. You know, those guys in the circus that can spin a plate on the end of a stick and then another and another. But, then the first one starts to wobble and everybody thinks it will fall but, the plate spinner runs back and gets them all spinning again and spins even more. Well, thats how it is underground (and in the office). You have to go back and make sure that the first tunnel doesn't fall and the next and the next and the pumps and the fans and the muckers and the lights and the drills and the rail and the etc., etc., etc. Then a government agency comes along and decides that plate spining is too dangerous and makes all of your plates wobble and crash. Then they threaten you with jail and tell the grand jury that it was your fault that the plates crashed because you shouldn't have been spinning plates in the first place.
As for ore, Lets put it in NRA terms. God instructed his angels to use pump-action shotguns loaded with gold dust on selected areas of Earth. Not wanting to be left out of all the fun, God decided to cruise by in his "Heavenly Battleship." God took aim on a spot (now known as Alleghany, CA) with sixteen inch and 40mm guns loaded with golden projectiles. Needless to say, those projectiles are harder to find than the gold dust in other areas fired from the shotguns (metaphorically speaking). But, when you do... Yeh-Hah!!! It is more than just finding gold.

(The views of this independant mine owner are not necessarily that of the Sixteen to One management, miners or stockholders).

08/04/2005  11:14AM

Development at Alleghany. [Colorado Capital plans big operations.] June 13, 1909- L.A. Times

Alleghany (CA) June 10- with $100,000 immediately available and backed by a group of the largest Colorado capitalists, L. E. Woodbury, manager of the Rainbow and Red Star mines, has arrived from Denver to push developments on a vastly augmented scale. The Rainbow ten-stamp mill will soon be in commission. The 2000-foot main tunnel pushed ahead, a north drift run to cut the wonderful Sixteen-to-one vein. And it is expected that the tunnel will shortly intersect the great tightner ledge. The working force has been increased and the thirty-inch bonanza shoot recently opened, will be thoroughly exploited. The main tunnel is going forward steadily and much new territory is being opened. Fully 5000 tons of rich ore are blocked in the Red Star and much bonanza quartz is being sacked for shipment. The vein continues thirty inches wide, values from $100 to $50,000 per ton.
Aside from the natural interest the famous Sixteen-to-one, attention is concentrated on the celebrated Tightner where the lower adit is expected to reach the lower ledge within a few days. If the strike comes up to expectations, managing owner, H. L. Johnson declares that the Tightner will at once leap into the front rank of California gold producers. It has already produced in excess of $1,800,000 from the upper workings and indications point to the continuance of the great ore shoot with depth. The tunnel is in over 3800 feet, but progress has been slow, owing to the excessively hard rock encountered.
The Sixteen-to-one, Morning Glory, El Dorado, Bonanza King, and several others continue splendidly with increasing developments. The ore bodies are holding out excellently and give every promise of depth. The St. Elmo and Gold Canon have been taken by eastern capitalists and will be vigorously exploited. The Kenton and other properties, operated by Los Angeles capitalists, also show excellently. It is reported that George Wingfield is still after control of several properties in the district.
While the Alleghany ores carry fabulous values, they do not mill well and, except the Rainbow, none of the other mines are in the position to treat their products. The ore is hauled to Nevada City by teams, and thence sent to the Selby Smelter by rail, naturally at considerable expense. The Red Star is installing a testing mill and as soon as the best method has been determined, several works will probably be erected. The presence of powerful Denver, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Goldfield capitalists is a guarantee that the mines will not suffer for want of milling facilities. In other mother lode counties mines are in full blast.
Southern Californians in the Blue Ledge copper district, Siskiyou County, are opening excellent properties, and recent developments indicate that as soon as the copper market sufficiently improves, the Blue Ledge will rank next to the Shasta belt. At the Blue Ledge mine, large reserves of excellent grade copper have been developed with a smelter installed; the company would be in a position to produce on a large scale. The St, Albans, Bloomfield, Joe Creek, Medford, Copper King and numerous others are also showing well. Several eastern, British and Spokane people are interested. The chief drawback of the district is the lack of adequate transportation facilities.

The remarkable series of strikes in this district has led to the attempts of near-by sections to attract coveted attention from the mining men sojourning here. Reports of fabulous strikes are being freely circulated which in fact, have no foundation. Many so-called mining men in adjacent sections would like to emulate the tactics of the wild-casters. Even here attempts are being made to dispose of properties at fabulous prices, when their sole merit is that they are located near some of the famous ones. Such efforts do not meet the approval of the leading mining or business elements and the inquiring stranger is quickly undeceived if he takes the trouble to investigate before taking hold of the numerous chances offered.
The heirs of the Gilbert estate of Santa Barbara are steadily pushing work on the Lecompton mine in Nevada City and the Norambagua at Grass Valley. The Lecompton has been practically unwatered and active developments will be shortly commenced in the lower levels. This property has an excellent productive record. At the Norambagua, considerable new machinery includes an air compressor and drills, has been installed. This mine has produced over $1,000,000. The Dana Mining Company of Tonopah is actively at work at the Dana and Christopher Columbus claims at Grass Valley and is opening a strong body of excellent grade milling ore. This property adjoins the famous Idaho-Maryland mines which have produced over $16,000,000 and again are in operation on a large scale.
The Butte Creek dredge is operating very satisfactorily at full capacity and handling an immense amount of gravel said to show splendid values on Butte Creek. The largest boat, the Marigold fleet’s No. 2 was launched June 5. This is of the same type as the bid machines in the Folsom fields and when completed will have cost $200,000. It will handle approximately one-third more gravel than any dredger now in commission in the Yuba district. The J.H. Legget Co. at Oroville is constructing another large machine and the Indians dredge, wrecked by floods last winter, has again been placed in commission.
Advances from Oroville state that S.E. Churchman and followers have not abandoned the fight against Stelfer Mining Company. The non-suit was granted on the grounds that Churchman failed to advance proof to substantiate his allegations against the Selfers. Churchman’s attorneys argue that the case was conducted irregularly.
Everything is quiet in Amador County and it is evident that the strike is completely broken. Threats did not frighten companies into employing the ringleaders, and many of the latter have left for other parts. It will likely be long before the Mother lode Districts are again affected by strikes. More conservative men have taken the lead of the unions and every attempt to foster trouble has been promptly repressed. As a result, operations are again at full blast.
The 3500-foot shaft at the Kennedy is being deepened and the 100-stamp mill kept at work. The South Eureka and Central Eureka are operating steadily and the Zella, Argonaut, Fremont, Bunker Hill, and other large mines are working on old time lines.

07/05/2005  2:37PM

Recently rediscovered historical article, part of a series. Scoop will be posting one per week for the next several weeks.For a printable version, go to 'The Mine' section of this website.

MINES AND MINING—Activities in the ore districts of the Southwest
Oct. 24, 1909
Bonanza find at Forest City
South fork finds Alleghany veins’ extension?

Grass Valley (cal.) Oct. 22- The discovery of Bonanza ore in the South Fork mine in Forest city is considered one of the greatest strikes ever made in this district, and if the vein ultimately proves to be the great Tightner ore body, as everything indicates, it will mean the development of a giant property. The South Fork is owned by Los Angeles people and work has been moving ahead for several months under the management of Fred W. Kuhnfeld. The tunnel has been crowded ahead for over a mile and several promising ledges intersected. But the last find is far and away the greatest ever made in this section. The extent of the vein is still undetermined but it is known to be several inches wide with very high values. The ore is identical with that found in the Tightner and other Alleghany properties, containing free gold and arsenical sulphurets. Forest is just across a range of hills from Alleghany and it is considered that the strike in the South Fork demonstrates that the veins of Alleghany strike across the hills to the Forest district. The management is pushing development and, if the find continues to show as well as at present, shipping will soon be under way, the same people are developing a number of other claims in the district, with encouraging results.
The Rainbow mine at Alleghany recently cut a bonanza shoot and is sending out high grade. It is reported that arrangements will be made with G.M. Taylor, who recently jumped the Rainbow tunnel, whereby the company will be enabled to resume extensive work through the adit. The Red Star mill is running on good ore. A large number of claims are receiving attention, but the trouble between the leading companies is greatly holding back the district. With the Sixteen to One, Bonanza King and other mines tied up by litigation, with no early prospect of settlement, with the Rainbow handicapped by the loss of it’s tunnel, and with winter at hand, Alleghany is not reflecting the activity that characterized it a few months ago. The miners appear to be all right, but the tactics of the warring owners militate against advancement.
The Grass Valley district continues to maintain its’ position as the premier quartz gold producer in the state. The North Star Mines Company is producing at the rate of $180,000 per month with eighty stamps in commission. Extensive work is going on below the 4000 level, where the six-foot vein is running about $12 per ton. At the Empire, sinking is about to commence from the 3500 level. The two Mammoth electric pumps have been placed in commission and everything is in readiness for rapid work. The Dana Company has resumed work with a small force of men. The Brunswick shaft is progressing steadily, but it will be several months before any depth will be attained. The Kenosha continues to intersect small high-grade bodies with the shaft going down steadily. The Pennsylvania, Sultana, Idaho-Maryland, and several other properties are producing steadily. The deal for the Eureka has not yet been consummated, but it is reported that it will be carried through in the near future.
The important deals are pending in Sierra County, and will probably be consummated before the end of the month. Eastern capitalists are examining the Brush Creek mine and express themselves well pleased with the property. The Brush Creek has a good productive record. But disagreements between stockholders led to its closing. The property is located near the Kate Hardy, where a bonanza strike was recently made. An English syndicate headed by W.A. Wood of London, is negotiating for the Phoenix mine near Sierra City. The Phoenix is a low-grade proposition with immense bodies of such ore to be developed and equipped with a stamp mill. The English capitalists already control the Four Hills and Bunker Hill mines, in the Sierra City district, and are well pleased with the success that has attended their efforts.
The Ophir district, Placer County, is attracting considerable attention. Operations are to be resumed immediately at the famous Hathaway by a strong company. This was formerly one of the great producers of central California. Work will be prosecuted on an extensive scale. At the Crater, new machinery is being installed and operations conducted systematically. It is reported, that the Crandall has been sold to Colorado capitalists for a large consideration. A number of other properties are receiving attention with several showing well. In the Michigan Bluff section W.H. Fletcher and associates of Los Angeles and Pasadena are preparing for extensive work at the Home Ticket and other properties. These mines are well-known producers and have a bright future.
Articles of incorporation of the El Dorado consolidated mines companies have open filed with the County Clerk of El Dorado County. The capital stock has also been increased from $500,000 to $ 750,000. The company is organized under the laws of Nevada and is composed of Nevada, San Francisco, and southern California people. It is empowered to engage in all kinds of mining as well as other lines, such as the operation of power plants, railways, ect. The company expects to operate a number of properties in El Dorado and is arranging to secure numerous holdings.
The Stauffer Chemical Company has landed the celebrated Oro Fino mine, near Shasta, for $10,000 and will at once commence active work. The ore holdings of this mine carry an excellent gold percentage and give excellent signals of continuing to great depth. The Mammoth Copper Company is continuing to spend………..(illegible text)………. -The Bullychoop is about to resume with a large force of workers. This is considered one of the promising properties of the county and has produced considerable gold. The time for the expiration of the truce between the farmers and the smelter operators is rapidly approaching. The Mammoth and Balaklala companies have experts on the plants and botanists in the field. It is expected that the latter will show that much of the damage in the trees has been caused by the neglect of the farmers properly to prune and spray them. November 1, when the truce comes to an end, promises to be an interesting day in the Shasta copper belt.
The Reiner mine, near Angels Camp, has entered the bedrock in the ancient channel and has opened an excellent body of pay gravel. Pannings thus far have exceeded the expectations and the outlook for excellent production is good. Many southern Californians are interested in the company, which has expended a large amount of money in developing and equipping the property. The Calaveras Copper Company, which recently acquired the Union, mines at Copperopolis, is arranging to commence extensive operations. The smelter and concentrator can easily handle 1,500,000 pounds of copper per month. The Utica, Lightner, Melones, Etna King, and numerous other gold mines are producing steadily. No further talk is heard regarding rumored later troubles.
The announcement by senator Newlands of Nevada to the effect that the Virginia and Truckee Railroad will be extended into Mono, Alpine, and Inyo counties has been halted with joy by mining men in these districts. All that has held back splendid districts in these counties has been the lack of transportation facilities, and with the advent of the Virginia and Truckee the greatest boom in the history of these counties will be inaugurated. Connections will be made with the Bodie and Benton and Tonopah and Goldfield lines. A large number of promising Nevada districts will also be opened by the line.
The farmers of Contra Costa County have requested the supervisors to pass an ordinance against the Mountain Copper Company’s smelter at Martinez, alleging that the escape of fumes is damaging orchards and farms. The board has promised to take steps in the matter, but it is probable that the plants will be incorporated in the expansion plans of the town of Martinez, which will block the plans of the complainants. Considerable bitterness has been aroused by the plan, the farmers maintaining that the town of Martinez will not seek to prevent the escape of the destroying fumes. Accordingly they have filed a protest of the annexation of additional territory by the town. It is unlikely that the protest will be heeded.
 By Michael Miller

04/20/2005  9:57PM

Tomorrow is John Muir’s birthday. His image has been included on the US quarter for the state of California. He is cited as a great and perhaps the first environmentalist. If you want to read something about John Muir rarely written, it is on this web site, somewhere, but I cannot remember where. If you find it, Please make an entry here with the path to find it from Home Page.
 By Michael Miller

03/31/2005  9:34AM

Physicists Take Close Look at Gold’s Atomic Value
LA Times 7/20/95 Page B-2

All that glitters may not be gold, but gold is the most “noble” of all metals. It refuses to react with gases and liquids, which is one reason it can hang around for thousands of years in musty tombs and still shine brightly for those anthropologists (or Pirates) lucky enough to stumble upon it. But exactly what makes gold so standoffish (and hence valuable) has been something of a scientific mystery.

In the current issue of the journal Nature, two physicists from Denmark and Japan suggest that the electrons buzzing around the gold atom’s periphery overlap each other in ways that keep other atoms at a distance.

This same orbital dance allows gold atoms to hold onto each other with a grip sufficient to keep other atoms from breaking them apart.
 By Michael Miller

03/11/2005  7:23PM

A GOLDEN HIGHWAY by C.B. Glasscock, copyright, 1934

“Fortunately my car was old and experiences upon desert trails and mountain roads s well as upon city streets. It could, I felt, almost find its own way to a water hole as a dependable burro would do when its tongue or radiator began to crack with thirst. Frequently I have seen it run ten and twenty-odd miles past the point where its gasoline gauge revealed an alarming 0, while my traveling companion, secretary, cook, memory and wife, jittered silently in the corner of my right eye.
It would, I knew, climb sturdily up the steepest of mountain roads, slide cautiously on its hind quarters down dry creek beds to deserted villages, automatically dodge boys on bicycles, and pause beside old men with a potential gleam of reminiscence in faded blur eyes.
It would stop serenely upon the edge of a precipice to admire the view, or would draw gently toward a curbstone to win a smile from human beauty. It was in no great hurry. It would not stick too closely to the paved ways of speed and commerce when it wished to find its way into ghostly towns where men had worked and loved and laughed and died and helped to build a State and Nation. In short, it was precisely the sort of car in which one should go forth to find a Golden Highway of history, romance, laughter and adventure…..
The Alleghany district contains a hundred scars of the tremendous battles waged by men against mountains. It has been crisscrossed by foot trails, pack trails, freight roads and stage roads. We might ramble there for a week upon roads where we would meet only a mail carrier in a fliver or a 1933-model prospector seeking another of the innumerable gold pockets which have made this region the delight of prospectors and promoters for nearly a century.
Scores of itinerant miners throughout the years have taken ten, twenty, thirty thousand dollars in gold by their own efforts from the scattered rich deposits. A single chunk of ore has brought twenty-seven thousand dollars from the mint. Do not tell a present resident of these hills that he will not find another. They have been discovering new mines here for eighty years. Through North Columbia, North Bloomfield, Moores Flat, Pike City, Orleans Flat, Washington, Minnesota Flat and others have been great, Alleghany has been greater.
The famous Rainbow, which had its own stamp mill working in the ‘50s, once produced sixty thousand dollars in a single day. The Oriental dug seven hundred and thirty-four thousand from an area fourteen by twenty-two feet. The Tightner Mine Company has extracted more than three millions. All that started eighty years ago, but contrary to the history of most of the camps upon our golden highway, it has continued from decade to decade. As late as 1896, when William J. Bryan was first running for president, Thomas J. Bradbury located the tremendously rich Sixteen-to-One ledge fifteen hundred feet down the slope from his own back yard, within one hundred feet of the house where he had lived for twenty-five years. As late as 1912 the old Red Star produced eighty thousand dollars from a pocket of high grade.
Alleghany is also proud of its famous men. John Mackay, who was to become the richest of the bonanza kings upon the Comstock, learned his trade with pick and shovel and single-jack in the practical school of Alleghany’s shafts and tunnels. Fred Bradley, John T. Bradbury, and others famous, have worked in these mines.
Alleghany is unique in its continued complete devotion to mining—its only interest and its only source of revenue. Other old camps have supplemented their interests and revenues by cattle raising, lumbering, and other activities. Not Alleghany. It has always been a mining camp, and will continue to be that or nothing.”
 By Nose For Gold

01/25/2005  8:11PM

During 1927, William (Billy) Simkins wrote a report on the 16:1 mine for Fred Searls, geologist and later President of Newmont Mining. Simkins noted that 70% of the highgrade was found at or near the hanging wall of the vein, but it is a mistake to assume that no development should be done on the footwall. He also noted that there was a tendency to drive raises at angles which lend themselves to easy operation of the scraper (slusher) rather than close following the ore. For this reason, considerable highgrade is still present where thicker portions of the vein are present.
 By Nose For Gold

01/24/2005  11:06AM

Within the northern portion of the 16:1 mine, the North Orebody and the Yellow Jacket orebody, no relation to the Yellow Jacket mine, together produced approximately 37,800 ounces of gold. The Yellow Jacket orebody was only mined to the 1250 level, probably because the rake of the deposit causes it to cross into the Red Star mine, now owned by the 16:1. This leaves a mostly unexplored area between the 1250 and 1500 levels. During a metal detector survey in 1993, 1,000 ounces were discovered and mined from an underhand stope just below the 1500 level along the rake of the Yellow Jacket orebody.
 By Nose For Gold

01/16/2005  9:29PM

One of the more exotic exploration targets at the 16:1 mine is referred to as the lost winzes and is described in a report by C.C. Derby dated 12/9/30. While gravel mining (mining for gold in a Tertiary channel) through the Eureka tunnel in 1907 and 1911 a quartz vein was encountered at the center of the Red Star claim which produced 13,000 ounces of highgrade gold. Very dangerous conditions which included swelling ground and large amounts of water caused the area to be abandoned before all the gold could be removed. The reported production appears legitimate. Attempts to get to this area in 1919 and 1961 resulted in failure probably a result of survey errors. The 1961 attempt was under the direction of Fred Searls, geologist and former President of Newmont Mining.
 By Nose For Gold

01/10/2005  9:07AM

In 1990, the KCJV joint ventured the 16:1 mine with Billiton Minerals, Shell Oil Company. The highest priority exploration target of Billiton was at Chips Flat above the 16:1 owned Rainbow mine which historically produced +150,000 ounces of gold. There are a number of vein junctions as well as extensive carbonate alteration in this area. A logical well thought out exploration program which includes backhoe trenching would have a high probability of producing significant gold from Chips Flat.
 By Nose For Gold

01/02/2005  3:05PM

The largest pocket of gold mined from the 16:1 was from a small zone below the 800 Level between the 16:1 and Tightner Shafts and is credited with 83,200 ounces. Of this total, some 30,000 ounces were obtained from a "pipe" about 1 1/2 ft. in diameter by 40 ft. long. The remaining ounces came from a larger volume of still very rich vein. In 1940, a typical year, 8,471 ounces of gold were produced from 5,635 pounds of ore or 1 1/2 ounces per pound. (This does not include mill production) With only 1/3 of the 16:1 vein developed, potential exists for many good years of gold production.
 By Nose For Gold

12/30/2004  4:24PM

A.D. Foote was a famous mining engineer who for a time was the manager of the Tightner mine, now part of the 16:1. In a 1921 interview, Foote states that they produced 37,500 oz. of gold from a space less than 10 ft. by 10 ft. The ore was so rich they had to cut it up with chisels to get it to the mill. Under his management the Tightner produced 150,000 oz. The stopes from where this gold was recovered have been washed so clean that not even sand remains, but there is more gold in the area.
 By Nose For Gold

12/27/2004  11:45AM

During 1944, Geologist, H.R. Cooke, Jr., submitted his Ph.D. thesis titled "The Distribution of Gold in the Original Sixteen to One Vein" to Harvard University. Cooke developed Association Indices for the distribution of gold. Results of his work demonstrate that the two most important tools for finding highgrade are local knowledge and good geologic mapping. This still holds true today.
 By gfxgold

12/15/2004  9:37PM

I think the Sixteen just found a new revenue source! Dividend checks, framed and ready to hang proudly, next to that specimen of 16 to 1 gold. (Of course, they would be stamped non-negotiable). I bet Rae could sell a lot of them at the UGMM.

12/15/2004  8:51PM

Hey Rick, you framed a $25 dividend check instead of cashing it is what you wrote below Nose.

Why? I’ll pay you twenty-five dollars if we can meet at the mine office to verify your dividend authenticity, no if it meant more to you than $25 then, it may be worth more to you with age. Why is this “check” so special and does it look special? Maybe I’ll pay you $100 just to have it framed on my wall.

Same offer to you, Nose.
 By Nose For Gold

12/14/2004  12:24PM

Historically the 16:1 has had a staff of engineers and geologists from Stanford, Cal., U. of Nevada and Harvard. Best known of these individuals is Harvard trained geologist and later Director, W.P. Fuller Jr. In an August 29, 1965 letter to the President of the Company, Fuller states:" A comprehensive exploration campaign should, when finances permit, be undertaken to prospect the northern continuation of the entire vein zone. With more than 1 1/2 miles of a major vein system barely touched by mining up to now because of the deep Tertiary cover, and with geologic conditions very similar to the mile already developed by the consolidated 16:1 workings, this exists as one of the most promising areas for development of gold bearing quartz veins in the district."

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